Apex court stays proceedings in PF scam

A bench of Justices D K Jain, V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi said: “The proceedings before the Ghaziabad special CBI court will remain stayed.”

Attorney General G E Vahanvati said there were some “extremely disturbing” circumstances that warrant immediate transfer of the case outside Uttar Pradesh, preferably to the national capital.

The court directed the Attorney General to place before it the names and addresses of all the accused within one week so that notices could be issued on the CBI’s plea for transfer of the case out of the state.

Transfer

An application on transfer of the case from Ghaziabad to New Delhi was pending before the apex court for many months. The CBI placed a fresh report before the Supreme Court in which it said there was no evidence or very negligible evidence against the judges allegedly involved in the scam.

Ashutosh Asthana, a clerk at the Ghaziabad court, was arrested in April 2008 in connection with siphoning off about Rs 23 crore provident fund of class III and IV employees.

During interrogation, he had named 36 judges of various courts, including one from the Supreme Court, as the alleged beneficiaries of the scam. Ashthana died in a jail in UP on October 17, 2009, under mysterious circumstances.

Vahanvati said that the CBI had seized 25,000 documents on the PF Scam and they were to be scrutinised by the CFSL experts.

On September 23, 2008, the Supreme Court had ordered for a CBI probe into the siphoning of about Rs 7 Crore from the provident fund account of lower judiciary staff in Ghaziabad by Asthana.

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